Now, Bihar netas use social networking sites to woo youngsters

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Illustration: Samia Singh

Patna, Apr 9 (PTI): Politicians are increasingly using social networking sites as a tool to further their political agenda and the latest to join the bandwagon is Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

When Kumar launched his campaign for special status for Bihar, he used social networking site Facebook to create awareness about the demand. Not just his own account, there are at least three accounts set up by the chief minister’s followers on Facebook with 1.33 lakh supporters following him on these accounts. Apart from Facebook, the Bihar chief minister has also set up a blog to publicise his political views. It has as many as 2,273 followers.

His arch rival and RJD supremo Lalu Prasad, though not a big fan of social networking sites, also has a Facebook account set up in his name by one of his supporters and has 4,199 followers.

Kumar’s aide Sanjay Jha, a former BJP MLC said the chief minister had not been able to express his views on the blog over the past two years due to hectic engagements, but will soon communicate with his supporters on another blog, christened as Nitishspeaks.blogpost.in. Besides, a website cm.bih.nic.in is a platform where the chief minister’s supporters can give their feedback on various public issues, he said.

Several ministers in the Nitish Kumar government like rural development minister Nitish Mishra, information technology minister Shahid Ali Khan and social welfare minister Parveen Amanullah have also joined the social networking sites and are being followed by hundreds of supporters.

Mishra, who is a JD(U) MLA from Jhanjharpur Assembly seat, said that social networking sites had been useful in getting feedback from the people about the implementation of centrally-sponsored schemes like MNREGA and IAY and addressing discrepancies where ever there are problems in execution.

The internet and social networking sites have kept officials on tenterhooks as they can no longer hide deficiencies in implementation of these schemes and facts on the ground could be easily corroborated by the local people, he said.

The JD(U)’s junior ally BJP is not far behind in tapping social networking sites for communication and publicity as a website called www.bjpbiharpradesh.com was recently launched by Arun Jaitley, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha during his visit to the state.

Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi too has 94,436 followers till date. Modi has uploaded several rare photographs, including one in which he is seen seated beside former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee about 35 years ago. He is also available on the microblogging site Twitter where he posts on regular basis.

Among opposition leaders, LJP president Ramvilas Paswan and former minister Upendra Kushwaha, who has recently floated a political party called Rashtriya Lok Samata Party, too have set up their accounts on Facebook to woo supporters.

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